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Unarmed Woman Shot by Muslim Cop Was Killed by ‘Islamophobia’

MPR News reported last week that “attorneys for former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor filed a court document Wednesday saying that the officer intends to plead not guilty on charges filed against him in the shooting death of Justine Ruszczyk last July.” The document Noor’s attorneys filed “states that Noor intends to rely on defenses at trial that include arguing that he’s not guilty, that it was self-defense and that it was a reasonable use of force.”

Justine Ruszczyk called 911 in Minneapolis in July 2017 to report what she thought might be a rape. When police arrived, she approached the police car, and Noor shot her dead. Afterwards, Noor refused for months to be interviewed by investigators, although he spoke to friends about what happened and why. The more Noor and those who know him spoke, the more it became clear: he didn’t act in self-defense, contrary to his present claim. Justine Ruszczyk was a casualty of “Islamophobia.”

Mohamed Noor is a Somali Muslim. He was the first Somali Muslim on the Minneapolis police force. In 2016, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges expressed her excitement about that fact: “I want to take a moment to recognize Officer Mohamed Noor, the newest Somali officer in the Minneapolis Police Department. Officer Noor has been assigned to the 5th Precinct, where his arrival has been highly celebrated, particularly by the Somali community in and around Karmel Mall.”

Hodges wasn’t excited because Mohamed Noor had the skills necessary to become a fine police officer. She was only excited because he represented a religious and ethnic group that she was anxious to court. And it became increasingly clear -- as we learned about Mohamed Noor’s nervousness and jumpiness and lack of respect for women, and from his own account of events that he relayed to friends (that he was “startled” and reacted by opening fire) -- that Mohamed Noor was not cut out to be a policeman. He did not have the temperament for it, and if he hadn’t killed Justine Ruszczyk, he would likely have done something similar at some point.

So why was he on the force at all? Because he was the first Somali Muslim on the Minneapolis police force. He was a symbol of our glorious multicultural mosaic. He was a rebuke to “Islamophobes” and proof that what they say is false. Minneapolis authorities placed a great deal of faith in Mohamed Noor. He was for them the triumph of diversity, the victory of their worldview. But he has let them down.

Mohamed Noor is not a jihad terrorist. This was not a jihad attack. He is just a trigger-happy, panicky, reckless individual who held his job not because he was fit for it, but because of what he symbolized.